Should all Americans wear face masks when leaving the house to help stop the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
President Donald Trump said this week that his administration intends to release new recommendations regarding the use of face masks after he initially said masks weren’t necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.
Most members of Trump’s coronavirus task force have recommended wearing face coverings in public, and are now reportedly in the process of finalizing a formal draft of new recommendations.
The Centers for Disease Control is also reviewing its policy after initially saying only people who are sick or caring for someone who is sick should use a mask.
CDC Director Robert Redfield said the guidance on wearing masks was "being critically re-reviewed, to see if there's potential additional value for individuals that are infected or individuals that may be asymptomatically infected.”
Trump said that he “didn’t think they’ll be mandatory because some people don’t want to do that. (Americans) can decide for themselves.”
The president’s COVID-19 task force has cautioned that even if one is wearing a mask, it doesn’t prevent the spread of the virus, and people should still be socially distancing themselves from one another.
"It is not a substitute for the presidential guidelines (on social distancing) that have already gone out," Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force said at its daily news briefing on Thursday, April 2, said.
"Don't get a false sense of security that that mask is protecting you exclusively from getting infected. This worries us. That’s why the debate is continuing about the mask.’’
There is no timetable for the new recommendations from the task force or CDC, though there are reports it could come on Friday afternoon, April 3.
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